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Should schools be allowed to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence?

It’s not unusual for schools to ban students from wearing gang symbols. If students are unable to outwardly identify with rival groups when they are in school, it lessens the potential for school violence. But what happens when a gang symbol is a religious symbol as well?

Do your First Amendment rights stop at school? No and yes. When the Supreme Court ruled in Tinker v. Des Moines that students were permitted to wear black armbands in school to protest the Vietnam War, Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas wrote: “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” But the issue of free speech at school is more complicated than that, since school officials are responsible for maintaining an orderly environment. The Tinker justices ruled that symbolic expression can be restricted when it is disruptive or poses a clear and present danger to the school environment. The principals in these recent cases believe that speech restriction applies to rosaries when used as gang symbols.
When a Colorado Springs school district found out that gangs in the Midwest had started adopting Catholic rosary beads and crosses as symbols of their allegiance, it decided to clamp down. Over the summer, it voted to allow each school in the District 11 – elementary schools up to high school – to decide individually whether it wanted to ban children from wearing crosses and rosaries outside their clothing during school hours.

One school, Mann Middle, says students who want to wear rosaries as a symbol of their Catholic faith must do so underneath their clothing. This did not sit well with Rebekah Gostnell. The parent of a 13-year-old student named Cainan spoke up to the school district and in the local press about the restriction.

“He loves Jesus and should be able to wear (a Christian symbol) outwardly as he chooses,” Gostnell said in the Colorado Springs Gazette. “I don’t think it’s right to make some people hide their religious beliefs and allow others to show their religious beliefs.”

Jordan Sekulow, a human rights attorney at the American Center for Law, told the Gazette that unless there is evidence that a student is part of whichever gang wears religious symbols, that student has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to wear a cross to school.

A similar case in Schenectady, N.Y., drew a lawsuit after seventh grader Raymond Hosier was repeatedly suspended for wearing his rosary to school. The school district eventually lifted its ban on rosary beads.

What do you think?

Should schools be allowed to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence? Does it equate to making students hide their religious beliefs, as Rebekah Gostnell said? Or is letting students wear their rosaries under their clothing a safe compromise? Should schools first have evidence that the student is in a gang before restricting what he or she wears? Join the discussion!

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Comments
10/17/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Ella
Biller/PHS
I think you should be able to wear anything to show your religion or profess any type of religion at school. In the first amendment it states that one of your rights are religion. If they disrespect the uses of their religion their right should be band from that public area.

10/17/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Kelsey
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I believe that they should be able to express their religion and beliefs. The First Amendment gives us the opportunity to have Freedom Of Speech and the schools are not supporting that. As long as they are not doing anything I think it should be fine.

10/17/2018
sheboygan county wi
joey
biller/phs
they can restricted it

10/17/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Grace A.
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I believe they should all wear what they believe in. The First Amendment says that everyone has the freedom of speech and religion. There is no way for them to prove their religion and you can't go around everyday asking what religion everyone is in, so I believe you should just let them wear what they want to wear to support whatever they want to support.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsisn
Megan
Biller/PHS
I do not think that schools should be able to ban anything related to religion. The first amendment gives the right of freedom of religion. If the religious symbols are not gang related then they have the right to wear whatever their religion believes in.

10/16/2018
plymouth/wisconsin
britta
mrs.biller/ PHS
i believe that students should be aloud to wear some type of religion symbol it shouldn't matter what it is ether, in the first amendment it says that you have the right to freedom of religion.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Alli
Biller - PHS
The first amendment grants us the freedom of speech and religion. Because we have the freedom of speech, we have the freedom of expression. I think they should be allowed to wear their rosaries to express their religion. If we are granted with that freedom we should use it.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Karlee
Biller/PHS
I think that students should be able to show off their religious beliefs. But if there is a situation where it is causing a threat. Or if it is distracting another student from his/hers learning then it should not be aloud in schools. Because yet it is a public school people have different beliefs and they all aren't the same. So when one person did it they ruined it for the rest of the people that want to show off their religious beliefs.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Mara
Biller/PHS
I believe that schools should not be able to ban the roasries because in the first amendment it states that people have to freedom to religion. The schools should have proven evidence that the student is apart of a gang before tell them what they can or can't wear.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Mara
Biller/PHS
I believe that schools should not be able to ban the roasries because in the first amendment it states that people have to freedom to religion. The schools should have proven evidence that the student is apart of a gang before tell them what they can or can't wear.

10/16/2018
PLYMOUTH WISCONSIN
ISABELLA TRACY
PHS - BILLER
I think they should allow both of them to wear their rosaries because the First Amendment protects their freedom of speech or freedom of expression.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Trey
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I believe that it should not be able to ban religious symbols because some kids grew up in a religious family, and might have to wear the specific clothing. Also that if they notice something that might be suspicious, they should further look into the situation

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
shayla
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I believe students should be able to wear their rosary beads in school. Unless there is actual proof of the person being involved in illegal activity and using the rosary beads to represent their involvement, I think it should be allowed for a person to represent their beliefs, after all it is their constitutional right.

10/16/2018
plymouth, wi
mckenna
Mrs. Biller - PHS
I think if Rebekah wanted to wear a rosary for religious reasons she should have been able to wear it over her clothes if she wanted to. It's her freedom to express what she stand by. But wearing it under her clothes for a reason is a good compromise.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Eoin
Mrs. Biller/PHS
i believe that it is important to follow your faith and that if it is required like it is to wear a head scarf being a Jewish then yes you wear it but if its not required then you don't need to wear it

10/16/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Adrianna Jones
Mrs.Biller / PHS
I think that you should be able to practice what you believe in, but you don;t have to show it to everyone. In all I think it is fair that they can wear the beads and or cross under their close during school hours.

10/16/2018
Plymouth. Wisconsin
Sophie Hansen
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think that it should be okay that the students express a religion, even if it doesn't it shows their faith. The idea of putting the rosary under your clothes is a good idea, although students shouldn't have to hide their religion.

10/16/2018
Plymouth,Wisconsin
Lucas
Mrs. Biller
I believe anyone should be allowed to wear clothes that are related to their religion. The first amendment is what are founding fathers fought for and wanted in this country. I don't believe however, that people should be using religious items to affiliate themselves with gangs. If it is resulting in violence, the school should take away their rights to wear religious stuff in school.

10/16/2018
Plymouth,Wisconsin
Lucas
Mrs. Biller
I believe anyone should be allowed to wear clothes that are related to their religion. The first amendment is what are founding fathers fought for and wanted in this country. I don't believe however, that people should be using religious items to affiliate themselves with gangs. If it is resulting in violence, the school should take away their rights to wear religious stuff in school.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/WI
Amara
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think that students should be allowed to wear their religious symbols to school because it is part of their faith. Just because they are wearing a religious symbol doesn't mean they a part of a gang that wears religious Symbols.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Addy
Biller/PHS
I think that students in school should not be allowed to wear religious symbols that also can be related to gangs. I understand students may want to represent their faith but they can do that outside of school. The school banned the symbols because it represented a gang. Even though the student may be wearing it for religious reasons, it is hard to differentiate if they are part of the gang or not. It is best for the school to just ban them in all.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
chloe
Mrs. Biller
I think that students in their school should be able to show their religious views to an extent. If the religion requires you to wear a head scarf, that is fine. On the other hand if it is for gang affiliation it is wrong and should not be allowed in school because gangs are not legal. It's like the same thing as wearing a bandana, it is assumed to be affiliated with gangs, so they are prohibited in schools. If people at their school see that someone is wearing a bandana, they will ask them to take it off, same goes with the rosary. If someone sees a person wearing a rosary, it will be dealt with.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Annika
Mrs. Biller//PHS
I believe that students should be able to practice their faith by wearing clothing that follows their faith, but staff should also be aware of kids who don't necessarily follow that faith, but still participate in wearing the clothing. In order to keep make sure it is done for religious reasons, the kids participating in their religion could email a private email to a member of the staff, and have it be approved. Either way, gang members should be prohibited from showing affiliation to their gang, and religious clothing should not have to be banned.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Evan
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think the students should be able to wear religious things inside the school. First of all it’s the freedom religion. Second of all if the students don’t cause gang violence or trouble inside the school why should they be punished and not able to show their religion if they really wanted to. Maybe take the power away from some people if they abuse it but not the people that don’t.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Avery
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I believe that schools should not ban wearing rosaries or crosses over clothing. It is part of the first amendment (freedom of religion), and as long as the wearing isn't gang related, it is just an expression of the students religion, then it should be allowed. It might be a better solution to add a note in the dress code that bans any gang related clothing or accessories. This would therefore ban rosaries if they are gang related, but allows students to wear a rosary if it is for religious reasons.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Devin M.
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think their first amendment right should be protected and that a check should be done to see if they are involved in a gang or not. If they are involved in a gang they should be banned for them but if it is for religious purposes they should be allowed to wear them.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Annika
Mrs. Biller//PHS
I believe that students should be able to practice their faith by wearing clothing that follows their faith, but staff should also be aware of kids who don't necessarily follow that faith, but still participate in wearing the clothing. In order to keep make sure it is done for religious reasons, the kids participating in their religion could email a private email to a member of the staff, and have it be approved. Either

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Dakota
Mrs.biller/PHS
I think that she should be able to wear it because of the 1st amendment with freedom of religion

10/16/2018
PLymouth
Adelynn
Plymouth High School
I think that they should not be banned, students used this Rosary as a way to show their involvement in the gang. However, if they ban using religious symbols, they can just move on and continue to use something else (such as a bandanna or markings). I don't think it would be worth it to violate the students constitutional right to religious freedom, they will just somehow find another way. I don't think it is a safe compromise to wear the rosaries under clothing because people of the Catholic religion truly believe that it is important to have that with them, and if they cannot wear it how it is originally intended to then it defeats the purpose. Overall, I think that they should not ban Rosaries, and they should find better stronger ways to discipline students who show relation or affiliation to a gang.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Ben
Mrs. Biller Plymouth High School
I think the student should should be allowed to wear it. I think we should go by the first amendment, its what america was built on. Anyone should be allowed to wear anything of there religious matter. If there not causing anyone violence why are they being punished.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Addy
Biller/PHS
I think that students in school should not be allowed to wear religious symbols that also can be related to gangs. I understand students may want to represent their faith but they can do that outside of school. The school banned the symbols because it represented a gang. Even though the student may be wearing it for religious reasons, it is hard to differentiate if they are part of the gang or not. It is best for the school to just ban them in all.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Olivia
Biller/PHS
I believe that because the first amendment permits freedom of religion if they wanted to wear it for a religious reason they should be allowed to. They shouldn't have to hide their religious beliefs. The school has no right to stop children who want to practice faith publicly.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Connelly
Mrs. Biller, PHS
Schools should not have the ability to ban anything related to religion. The school is always responsible for the students safety. If the school believes that someone is wearing a gang symbol, then the police should be notified. When something is is said that incites violence, then it should be permitted in school. If the police find something that supports what the student is wearing, then the student can not wear it anymore. If the rosary was a known symbol then it should be spoken and advertised at school, so it is not worn again.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Ella
Plymouth High school
I believe that the fact that the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion are written in the first amendment proves that they should still be true today. Saying that we have freedom of speech is saying we have freedom to express whatever we choose. I understand that schools frown upon some religious symbols but the Bill of Rights that our founding fathers wrote gives us the right to support and express ourselves in what we believe in.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Emily Edwards
Mrs. Biller PHS
I think rosaries shouldn't be banned because it's their own religion. if it's being used as a gang symbol then don't let those personal students wear them. don't punish everyone for certain people's actions.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Desiree
Biller/PHS
I think that if a student chose to wear there religion symbol like a rosary you should talk to your teachers and principle to see if its ok to wear during school. But if some religions require a scarf or certain apparel they should be able to wear it.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Isabella
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I think that the students should be allowed to wear their rosary at school for faith and not be banned. If the people are suspected to be a part of violence then they should be banned.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Tony
Bulin
I think that it is important that you can practice your faith. but if it has a chances to harm kids they should band them or have the kids keep them under their shirt.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Jasmine
Mrs. Biller/PHS
Schools shouldn't be allowed to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence. Your First Amendment rights guarantees freedom of religion. Schools should first have evidence that the student is in a gang before restricting what he or she wears.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Erin
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I think students should be allowed to wear their religious symbols to school because if they are not allowed to that is in violation of the first amendment. However, I think it is fair that if students are believed to be part of a gang, and wearing religious symbols for that purpose then it is fair that they get suspended.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Kaden
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I believe that we should have to wear our religious attire under our cloths because, it could show a gang symbol. Also this could be offending another persons beliefs. Although there is a constitutional rights under the first amendment, that we should be able to wear them. It still leads me to say that we should still not have the right to wear these, yes it is freedom of religion, but it doesn't seem appropriate.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Matthew S
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I believe that freedom of religion is a fundamental right that everyone should have, however when it is endangering students that's where I believe the line has been crossed and it's rime for someone to do something about the problem and ban religious symbols that are related to gangs. You should be able to where your rosary under your shirt and keep it from visibly showing.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Connor
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I believe that expressing what you believe in is completely okay to do, but if it causes violence in schools, students should try to keep the religious symbols out of sight, like if a student is wearing a necklace with a religious symbol on it, they should cover it up with their shirt. In conclusion, Its okay to express your religion, but if it might cause violence, just try to cover it up so people won't suspect you of being involved in a different religion.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Meghan
Biller - PHS
I believe schools should not ban religious symbols on student's textiles. The first amendment should not be banned at school. If you are in America, all amendments apply to you at all times to protect you. If a student is asked to remove/hide a religious symbol in school, because it is seen as a gang symbol, they could possibly show or explain the teacher/adult their religion. The student could "prove" that they have a reasonable cause to wear the symbol. It is unconstitutional to force someone to remove a symbol of religion, unless it is proven that it is a symbol of a gang.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/WI
jon
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I believe that students should be allowed to express there faith in school, but if they create there own gang with the same symbol. I think they should get evidence that it is a gang and only the people that believe in the faith should be allowed to express it and the gang should get consequence, because schools should not be supporting gang violence.

10/16/2018
Plymouth
Keith
Biller/PHS
Raymond Hosier should not have been suspended for wearing a rosary so long he was wearing it for religious purposes vs wearing as a gang affiliation then i could see a suspension if used for anything else other than a religious propose

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Dominic
Mrs. Biller/PHS
If that symbol is actually the symbol of your religion then you should be able to show/wear it. But if you are using the symbol for a gang and it is not your religion you shouldn't be showing it or wearing it at all. But if you do wear it for your gang, wear it under your clothes and don't show it.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Aaron
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think that schools should be allowed to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence. I think this because whats more important freedom of religion or keeping kids safe at school.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
JorDan Lensmire
Mrs. Biller
I believe that the boy should be able to wear a symbol of faith, if he would like showing his faith. The gang that is wearing the symbols should not be allowed to wear it. the first amendment states that we are allowed to have freedom of religion. if the symbol is not being used for religious purposes i think they should not be able to wear it.

10/16/2018
Plymouth,Wisconsin
Brianne
Mrs.Biller/Plymouth High School
I believe it is okay to be open about your religion. But if one thing about it like the rosarie beads are becoming a problem for learning and it's hurting people I believe you should just get rid of it in general. I believe it's okay to believe in something but you don't always need to show it to everyone.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/WI
Tyler
Biller/PHS
i think showing gang believes and gang groups should not be in school

10/16/2018
Plymouth WI
Evan Dorie
Mrs. Biller
I think schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols. It would violate students rights. Also, banning a religious symbol to protect against gang violence won't make a difference. Outside of school gang members will continue their violence. The students who want to wear the symbols to show their faith would be the only ones really being effected. Students have the right to wear whatever religious symbols they want. If schools want to protect against gang violence they should have metal detectors and educate students about the dangers of gang violence.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
kellan
Mrs. Biller and Mr Tenpas
I think the kid who loves Jesus should be allowed to wear his beads and cross as a symbol of his religion/faith. Other people who do not want to use these symbols for faith and want to condone violence with their beads should not be allowed. Freedom of religion should let people wear what they want. If it has a different meaning. it should not be tolerated. (like violence)

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Tre Shafstall
Mrs. Biller | Plymouth High School
When a school bans someone for what they wear or what they represent, the school is pretty much implying that they don't want them because they're different. I personally think that schools shouldn't ban people just because of their religion, or gang for that matter, because of the freedom that the children have of living in America. They have the freedom of the 1st Amendment, just like everyone else in America.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Logan
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
I think that if they ask the person if it's for religious purposes. Instead of assuming that it is resembling a gang sign for violence then they should probably tell them to take it off and if it is for religious purposes then they can leave it on unless it creates a distraction to the students. If it is for gangs then tell them to not come to school with it on and if they come back with it on (not for religious purposes) then they should give them one last chance. For religious purposes then they should be able to put it on and keep it on.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Logan
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
I think that if they ask the person if it's for religious purposes. Instead of assuming that it is resembling a gang sign for violence then they should probably tell them to take it off and if it is for religious purposes then they can leave it on unless it creates a distraction to the students. If it is for gangs then tell them to not come to school with it on and if they come back with it on (not for religious purposes) then they should give them one last chance. For religious purposes then they should be able to put it on and keep it on.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Owen
Biller/PHS
I think that students should be allowed to wear crosses and rosary beads freely during school hours. I think that they should be allowed to show their religious beliefs. The first amendment gives everyone freedom of speech and I see this as a type of speech. Therefore I see no reason for the schools to ban rosary beads and crosses.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Cole
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I believe that it is important to practice your faith, but you do not need to show it to the world. I thought that it was fine that Rebekah was allowed to wear the rosary beads under their clothes since it still allowed him to show their faith. Raymond Hosier should not have been suspended though, I think that is a restriction on the freedom of religion. Overall, I think that it is fine as long as they can wear the beads under their clothes.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
grace
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I think students should be allowed to show there rosary. They should be allowed to wear them because we have freedom of religion. But if there are lots of gangs in schools then they should not be wearing them but could keep them in a bag with them to carry around.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/WI
Jaden
Biller/PHS
I believe that they should not ban crosses or rosary because some kids might wear it because they were confirmed or religion or maybe just style, First amendment. I also feel like they should have the option to wear it outside or under their clothing. If it does become out of hand then I would side with the under clothing rule (still fallowing first amendment) because it still should mean the same thing under or over your clothing.

10/16/2018
Plymouth, WI
Tre Shafstall
Mrs. Biller | Plymouth High School
When a school bans someone for what they wear or what they represent, the school is pretty much implying that they don't want them because they're different. I personally think that schools shouldn't ban people just because of their religion, or gang for that matter, because of the freedom that the children have of living in America. They have the freedom of the 1st Amendment, just like everyone else in America.

10/16/2018
PHS
McKenna
Biller
I think that if students have to wear a religious symbol, like a head scarf, they should be able to wear it at school.But if they don't have to wear a religious symbol then they probably shouldn't wear that to school.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Nick
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
I think that students in school should not be able to wear religious symbols that also could represent gang affiliation. While this could be argued as breaking the amendment of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech does not apply to illegal things. And gangs are illegal. Even though people who could be wearing rosarys for religious purposes it is legal. But the staff at the school are going to be looking for those religious symbols being used as gang signs. So that's what they're going to see when they see a student wearing a rosary.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Jake
Biller/PHS
No they shouldn't ban religious symbols because it is what they believe in and what they want to express, it's not like wearing a cross necklace means your in a gang.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/ Wisconsin
Kade
Mrs. Biller/ PHS
I think that they should be allowed to ban religious symbols if they are becoming a problem. If gangs are starting up and they have complete evidence that there is one then they can ban it. But if they dont have any evidence then they shouldn't be allowed to ban it.

10/16/2018
Plymouth/Wi
Hannah
Biller/PHS
I think that this has to depend on the school. If some schools have problems with this then they could change around there rules with religious symbols. They should be banded if students are not safe. If a school doesn't have a problem with gangs,then nothing should be changed.

10/16/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Katie Andrus
PHS/ Biller
I think schools she be able to wear whatever they want if it is not hurting anyone or nothing bad is happening i do not really think its a big deal and Students could wear it under clothes.

10/12/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Nora
Biller/PHS
I think that many students are openly religious in schools and should be allowed to show their pride. However, it has been said that schools have a right to limit student's first amendment rights to keep it a safe learning environment. I think schools should be allowed to limit rights within reason. I say schools should be allowed to limit dress and rosaries, necklaces or anything else.

10/12/2018
Sheboygan County, WI
Masonious
PHS - The Biller of Rights
I believe that students shouldn't be banned from school for wearing something that is in relation to their faith. On the flip side, if the symbols provoke violence their should be a safe compromise. I think that wearing the cross under the clothes is a smart idea and the kids should follow the rule in order to be safe.

10/12/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Hannah Kraus
Plymouth High School. Mrs. Biller
I feel you should only ban the crosses or rosary, if you looks like it's getting out of hand. Because some people have the cross because they have got confirmed.

10/12/2018
Plymouth WI
Sam R.
Mrs.Biller/PHS
In schools they have the right to limit your right to free speech to keep everyone safe so I think that if these symbols are being used to symbolize gangs than I think they have the right to ban those symbols to keep everyone safe.

10/12/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Morgan
Mrs. Biller Plymouth Comprehensive High School
I think that it depends weather the gang violence is happening at school. If the violence is happening on school property or during school hours then they should be able to ban the symbols. If the violence is only happening off of school property and not during school, then it is not the schools problem.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Taylor Coenen
Plymouth High School Mrs. BIller
I think it all depends on the school or city/state. Some schools don't have problems with this, therefore they shouldn't have there religious symbols stripped away for no reason. On the other hand, other school have these problems everyday, and it's very common for physical or verbal fights to start because of this. I think if there is a problem in the just one school, then it should be the town's responsibility to take away the rights to wear religious symbols. If the whole state is having an issue, hen the state should change laws, and if our country is having an issue with it, then the country should change its policy. I just think that we shouldn't fix it if it isn't broken.

10/12/2018
Plymouth WI
Sam R.
Mrs.Biller/PHS
In schools they have the right to limit your right to free speech to keep everyone safe so I think that if these symbols are being used to symbolize gangs than I think they have the right to ban those symbols to keep everyone safe.

10/12/2018
Plymouth
CHUY
BILL$
I think that the kids should have the right to wear it under clothing or not. The kids have the right to the first amendment. The first amendment says that you have freedom to religion and speech/ expression. This may go against the believes of other people but so be it they can wear a chain on there neck saying atheist if they would like.

10/12/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Zach
Mrs. Billar
I don't think that schools should ban religious symbols because your expressing your religion. This is your right under the 1st amendment. If what they are doing is important to themselves, let them express it however they want.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, WI
Kayla
Biller/PHS
Public schools should not be able to ban religious symbols. I think for private schools where you have to wear a uniform, you could ban all jewelry in general, but you can't specially ban things like rosaries. In a pubic school however, making a student where their rosaries under their shirts would be like banning Muslim girls from wearing their hijabs to school.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, WI
Jacob G.
PHS
I personally believe that schools should have evidence before they take away the right to express religious freedom in school. I believe that if the school district notices something suspicious, they should investigate to see if their school district contains students that use religious symbols for gangs. If they find that there is something like that, then they should ban whatever symbol is being used. After all, it is their school and they can decide the rules. However, if there is no sign of gang threat, then I wholeheartedly think that they should allow students to express there religion for the protection under the first amendment.

10/12/2018
Plymouth Wisconsin
Emerson
Mrs. Biller/PHS
Well this can go both ways. If the religious symbol is offensive or could cause argument than it should be banned. On the other hand, it could be something that the religion requires such as a hijab. You could argue that any religious connections on clothing could start conflict at school, but I feel that if the religion requires an object, it should be allowed.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, Wisconsin
Kevin S.
Mrs. Biller/ Plymouth High School
I agree with Mann Middle on only being able to wear religious symbols under clothing. You can still get the comfort and sense of self from the item, but it does help prevent this gang affiliation using religious symbols.

10/12/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Matt
Mrs. Biller/PHS
I think that schools should never ban students from wearing religious symbols. If this were something from a different religion, then people would have been very mad about the banning of it.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, WI
Lauryn
PHS
No, the shouldn't ban any kind of religious symbol. Wearing it underneath your clothes is the same as not letting them wear it. I feel if you are afraid they are in a gang, and that's why you are banning them them. You need to have significant evidence that they are in a gang, and it's a gang symbol.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, Wi
Micah
PHS
No I dont think that because if they want to support their religious things they can and you can't tell that it will protect gun violence of the school. Most of the times gun and gang violence aren't about religious symbols

10/12/2018
Plymouth/ Wisconsin
Stella
Mrs.Biller/ PHS
If you have it in a religious way then you should be able to wear them till they are start being used as gang symbols. At school they should not be worn and schools should ban them.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, WI
Katherine
Mrs. Biller / Plymouth HS
I believe that students should be able to openly wear and display rosaries under the protection of the First Amendment. There is no constitutional way that schools are able to stop gangs from wearing the rosary that will not affect the students who are using it as a genuine display of faith.

10/12/2018
Plymouth/ Wisconsin
Grace
Mrs. Biller/ PHS
I feel like schools should not be able to ban anything that is related to someone's religion. If the school is believes that what someone is wearing is a gang symbol, the police should be notified so they can investigate. If the police find evidence supporting that the student is wearing it as a gang symbol, then that student should not be allowed to wear it anymore.

10/12/2018
Wisconsin
Erin
PHS
I believe unless the school knows, and can prove, that a student in part of a gang a student should be able to express their religious freedom. I wear a cross almost everyday, and I dont believe its right to take that away from someone who isn't using it as anything other then to show pride, and love for their individual beliefs.

10/12/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Shania
Mrs. Biller/ PHS
I think that if problems arise then yes religious symbols should be banned. If people can have their religious symbols at school and there is no problem then there isn't a reason to ban it.

10/12/2018
Plyouth WI
Nick
Mrs. Biller/Plymouth High School
I do not think so, because school is usually a neutral zone, and when you say what people can't and can do, you have to get picky and that makes everything more complicated.

10/12/2018
Plymouth WI
Samaira Lomibao
Plymouth High School- Mrs Biller
I think that religious symbols should be banned in order to keep students safe, only ban it if its necessary though. I think that when it comes to school and religion they should be separate if it comes to safety. I think hiding it under the clothes is the same as wearing it because if someone in a gang see's that it will cause a fight.

10/12/2018
Plymouth/ WI
Ashleigh Brown
Mrs. Biller/ PHS
No, they shouldn't be allowed to ban religious symbols. But if the symbol has caused violence before in the past, then that symbol should be banned. The religious symbols can stay as long as it doesn't involve violence or many arguments.

10/12/2018
Plymouth WI
Ella
Mrs.Biller PHS
The school is responsible for it's students safety first and foremost. When an expression of speech directly incites violence such as a gang symbol it should't be permitted in school. The school has to prioritize the security of its students especially when it involves gang violence. If the rosary was a known symbol of a gang you shouldn't be able to wear it in school due to the danger it puts you, your fellow students, and teachers in.

10/12/2018
Plymouth, WI
Emma
PHS
I agree with the school asking students to wear symbols under their clothing. It still allows students to express their faith and feel a connection to God, without the risk of assumption they are in a gang.

10/12/2018
Plymouth Wi
Reed G.
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I think schools should not be aloud to ban religious symbols because it is a way that people are able to express their beliefs and that should not be censored.

10/12/2018
Plymouth Wi
Reed G.
Mrs.Biller/PHS
I think schools should not be aloud to ban religious symbols because it is a way that people are able to express their beliefs and that should not be censored.

10/12/2018
Plymouth/Wisconsin
Tanis
Sator
No. Our Constitution is what bonds the USA together. As soon as we start making exceptions, we get a chain reaction of exceptions and eventually it seems like following the Constitution becomes the exceptions.

10/12/2018
Wisconsin
Samuel
Plymouth High School
Emily, just because you're offended doesn't mean I don't have the right to speak. It starts out with banning offensive speech and advances to flat out government propaganda. The minute we sacrifice rights for feelings is when we lose this country. Coming from a Libertarian not a Conservative.

1/20/2017
Marietta, GA
Emily O.
HTMS
Many of my fellow students at Hightower Trail are often offended by religious symbols or phrases.

3/17/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Leon
Mr.Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I think that kids should be able to wear only rosaries. I also think the school district should not get involved in gangs and what they do. Gangs are their own problem. If there is violence let the police deal with it whether in school or out. Its could for kids to express their own religion also no matter what.

3/16/2016
Stroudsburg,PA
Laif
Mr.Hana\stroudsburg
School's should not be able to interfere with any religion. You, as a student, have the right to wear whatever religious item you want. The school should absolutely cheak if the kid is in a gang first.

3/15/2016
Stroudsburg/PA
Jon
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
No they should not be allowed to ban any form of a religious symbol. If schools banned religious symbols, they are sending an indirect message to the students that religion is not okay. Also it violates your right to religious freedom.

3/14/2016
Stroudsburg, PA
Samuel W.
Mr. Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
Schools shouldn't be allowed to ban religious symbols because even though it might be a gang symbol, it is also a sign of religion which the school shouldn't be allowed to take away. It does equate to making students hide their beliefs because the school made them hide away their religion's symbol and they should be allowed to express it freely. Letting students wear their rosaries under their shirts isn't a safe compromise because people should be allowed to express their religion freely and not be forced to hide it. Schools should first have evidence before restricting because you don't know why the student is wearing that rosary.

2/22/2016
Murrieta/CA
Trevor
Mr.J
i think that it should not be banned people should let them selfs expess them selfs it violates the first amendment!

12/3/2015
Diamond Bar, CA
MarinaP5
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence. For some people, religion makes them who they are. It is not fair to ban them from something that could be the most important thing to them. The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” Banning religious symbols violates two things from the First Amendment. It violates the student’s freedom to religion and its violating their freedom of speech. Religious bans are a form of self-expression, and depriving a student from that violates their freedom of speech. Therefore, schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols.

10/29/2015
Murrieta, CA
Micah W
Jabro, Creekside High School
Schools certainly should be allowed to ban whatever they want, they have the authority to regulate what is worn on their campus and what isn't. Students should be allowed to express their beliefs with religious symbols and clothing if they want to but it's problematic when gang affiliates and every day students wear the same thing, it becomes harder to distinguish who's who, but if the school district feels that banning rosaries is crucial to the safety of all the students then they have the right to do so. Although if they ban one religious symbol, they have to ban all religious symbols.

9/29/2015
Pampanga
MsKryps
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg Jr High School
We should always have the rights to be free and open to everyone. They should not ban us from doing or wearing religious things.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Amyah
Mr.Hanna/ Stroudsburg Jr High School
I think schools shouldn't be able to ban you from wearing symbols that represent your religion. In the First Amendment it mentions that you have freedom of speech, you have freedom to express what you feel is right. Schools shouldn't be able to ban you from wearing a religious symbol.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg m/ PA
Gabrielle
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
Schools should not be allowed to not let someone wear something of their religion. According to the First amendmen Americans are given the right to freedom. In this includes freedom of expression and religion. Not allowing this violates a students rights. Uniforms are understandable or certain rules due to gang violence. However, religion is something that can not be turned down. Students should be allowed to express there religion in the way they have to

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg m/ PA
Gabrielle
Mr. Hanna/ Stroudsburg JHS
Schools should not be allowed to not let someone wear something of their religion. According to the First amendmen Americans are given the right to freedom. In this includes freedom of expression and religion. Not allowing this violates a students rights. Uniforms are understandable or certain rules due to gang violence. However, religion is something that can not be turned down. Students should be allowed to express there religion in the way they have to

2/9/2015
Vt
Lucy
Rts
I think that it should not be banned people should express who they are and it violates the first amendment!

1/23/2015
Murrieta, CA
Steven
Jabro-Creekside
I think the school district deserves more flexibility when it comes to incidents like this. I think that they acted appropriately, and should be able to rule out any gang symbols from their school regardless of any religious symbol used by any gang.

1/12/2015
Maine
Caleb
Mrs.Leroy
When I found out religion was not allowed which was just recenly by my health teacher I was shocked. I have been talking about It openly for a while. My school has zero violence so I think there should be a condition where if the crime rate is above "x" they ban it. But if it is below "x" it should be legal to wear a necklace with a religious symbol.

12/14/2014
Umatilla, Or
Tia
Umatilla High
In a school where we don't have as much gang related occurrences, we are still told by surten staff that we shouldn't be allowed to wear our symbols. I feel that being able to wear our religious symbols should be a must. If someone has a problem with that religion than that's their problem not the person wearing it.

11/13/2014
Stroudsburg, PA
Joel
Mr Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I don't think schools should ban religious symbols. Religion plays a key role in a persons life and wearing symbols are an expression of they faith and allegiance to the religion. Even though religious symbols may cause gang violence, the wearer isn't forced to wear the symbol in the first place and the violence could be deterred by using strict punishments and consequences. People are very proud of their religions and taking away their expression of their faith may be oppressive and anger the students. I feel there is no need to ban religious symbols when punishing students is a reasonable way of dealing with any violence and if religious symbols were banned it would probably cause even more problems as many students would become outraged.

11/3/2014
dakota
samara
mrs.frank
I think people should belive what they want and shoudent be banned for beliving in that symbols are part of the life of people.let people belive. people shouldnt be ofendet about it . I am not Christian and their symbols don't bother me I am jewish and I wear the david star and no one ever bother about it

10/30/2014
Murrieta ca
Bianca
Mr. Jabro/ Creekside
If religious symbols are banned from school then wouldn't that be violating the first amendment? Anyone should be able to express their religion, a rosary should not be a "gang sign" it's just showing the belief of catholic faith a long with any other religious symbols. Religion is not a gang so i would not see a reason to hide/ban it.

4/3/2014
Arcadia
Austin
northeast
do religious symbols count as clothing also

3/11/2014
gothenburg/sweden
Ola
Glenn/nya varvet
Where should the lines be crossed we dont know we have to limit but still accept religious symbols to some extent....

2/19/2014
gothenburg/sweden
Ola
Glenn/nya varvet
Everybody should have the right to wear any religious symbol they want

10/12/2013
Guildford, Surrey
Joebelle
St. Peter's Catolic Seondary School, Guildford Merrow
It should not be banned because there's nothing wrong with expressing your faith and being proud of what you believe in. No one can stop you for believing in it

9/27/2013
Watertown/ Ma
Kaitlyn M
Mr. Rimas/ Watertown High school
Schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols. It violates the first amendment of freedom of religion. Students should not be worried about hiding their religious necklaces or bracelets. Their is no evidence indicting gang and the relation to religious symbols.

9/25/2013
New Mexico
Steve Maxwell
Silver Schools
The 1st Amendment is clear. No rules or laws passed restricting religious freedom would be constitutional without striking or amending the 1st Amendment. Sorry folks we are a Constitutional Republic.

9/13/2013
Sidney, Montana
Fredy Mata
Mr. Faulhaber
I don't believe schools should ban religious symbols, because everyone has a right to practice their religion. instead they should warn kids of the possible danger of wearing these religious symbols.

9/4/2013
Texas
sherina
port Isabel High School
I had recived 25 days D.A.E.P for wearing a rosay in witch protects me in any way by the form of god. This shouldent be allowed!! This is not right!!

5/23/2013
Arvada,CO
Mark
Jefferson Academy
Since religions meet the DOJ definition of a gang, and since many members of religion use that membership as a basis for violence/crime, and those crimes are subsequently hidden by common conspiracy of fellow members - what stops religious groups being defined as a gang under the law? Alternatively can I get tax-exempt status for my street gang if we claim something supernatural?

4/9/2013
nm
bailey
san jon
the schools should ban religious symbols to protect students frome gang vlolence

4/5/2013
WA
Michelle
SWHS
If they are so concerned about the rosaries, why don't they have a note set up to send home to the parents? If the parents have no clue their child is wearing a rosary to school then the child most likely is not wearing it for religious purposes. or a note could be sent out to all the parents saying something along the lines of: 'Recently Catholic Rosaries have been being used as gang signs, and to prevent violence, we would perfer it (though are not requiring it) if students would wear their rosaries under their clothes, if you could please talk to your childeren about this and other ways to express their faith, it would be greatly appreciated. this message is only sent out in hopes of peace and safety at school, we urge you to please take this under consideration.' without the run on sentences and bad grammar of course, but my point, inform the parents of what is going on and ASK them to cover their rosaries, not tell, a student should not be restricted in showing their religion, Christian, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Bhuddist, or Wiccan. there will always be bullying of a student who is different, having a symbol wont make it much worse, but maybe give the student hope.

2/14/2013
newark,new jersey
chauntae j.
ms.blenman
religious symbols shouldn't be banned no matter what because we all want to worship who ever we choose and we can agree with our parents wether we like it or not. i'm a christian and i always wear a cross on my neck. my friend is muslim and she wears her kimar everyday because we like who we are.

2/6/2013
harrisburg PA
miguel
central dauphin
it shouldnt be banned no matter what

1/10/2013
australia
nutter
aussie
Ban all religious symbols in school. Its not part of the uniform. Religion is a belief. Keep it to yourself, I dont need to see your symbolic advertisement for the church. "I love batman and should be able to wear (cape and mask) outwardly as I choose". Why does a religious belief differ to a nonreligious one? Wear you cape/mask/cape outside of school. If Jesus doesn't love you between school hours, just ask for foregiveness...

12/9/2012
California
Melissa
Monache
If the religious symbol is linked with a gang then yes it should be banned. Otherwise it should be permitted.

10/1/2012
Rudyard
Donovan
Ms.Campbell / northstar
If the students are scared to hide it from the gangs. I would to be scared to. Because some gangs want fight the kids and even kill some kids just because the kids have ink on their skin that mite look like a gang tattoo from a distance. So the school should protect.

9/29/2012
brownsville, texas
antonio
veterans memorial high school
In school they always tell me to put my rosary in because they say its a gang symbol, and that isn't right. They cantg just say its gang related and it has to be against the 1st admendment with freedom of religion. Down in brownsville there are no gangs that claim the rosary to be their gang symbol, and that's getting on my nerves

9/19/2012
corona, ca
chris
corona fundamental intermediate school
i am 15 yrs. old, I currently attend highschool but when i went to CFIS they didnt allow anyone to express their religion. anyone who did was sent to detention all day.

9/7/2012
Sidney, MT
Matt
Mr. Faulhaber
I dont think schools should be able to ban religious symbols. It is your religion and you should be able to express it.

9/7/2012
Sidney, MT
Abigail
Mr. Faulhaber
I don't think that the school should be able to ban something expressing your religion. It's your first amendment right. If it's important to them, let them express it how they please.

4/25/2012
Orono/Minesota
Annika
Stanley/Orono Middle School
Students should be able to express their religion in school because of the 1st amendment. The first amendment states that students are people and people have free religious expression as a right. To say that religious expression in schools is utterly unconstitutional.

3/29/2012
wakulla
Damien
Mr.jones
this is a good act but its kinda going to far with the whole not being able to do anything

3/12/2012
Hounslow
Zendaya
Cranford community college
Religious symbols should be allowed in school. They symbolise what individual beliefs a person has. Religious clothing shows that someone is following their religion that they believe in, and that they would like to follow. Should we really deny the children of our society the right to be religious?

3/5/2012
Baltimore/Maryland
Tatyana
Jones-Prettyman/Baltimore Talent Development
I believe that schools should be able to ban religious symbols but at the same time I believe that they shouldn't because people have the right to represent their religion, but they should limit the ways they represent it and they need to work on a way to stop gangs.

3/5/2012
Baltimore/Maryland
Antonio
Jones-Prettyman/Baltimore Talent Development
Yes. Schools should be able to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence because it's an issue of public safety. The Government is suppossed to provide public safety under any means of circumstances, which means if it calls for limiting the First Amendment's "Freedom of Religion." If it's my safety that is endangered, I would want the Government to deal with it even if it calls for a loss of freedom. So, I think the Government should make a school policy to ban religious symbols in order to protect others against gang violence.

3/5/2012
Baltimore/Maryland
Dalonte
Jones-Prettyman/Baltimore Talent Development High School
They should not be able to tell you that you can't wear a rosary or have a tattoo of a cross and send you to the office because of a religion. If they did, then some people would have to be home schooled because they have a religion.

1/30/2012
Gravette,AR
Lauren
GHS
Religion should not be allowed at any school. Kids are constantly judged for not being in the same religion.

12/26/2011
Port Allen, La
Javon
PAHS
I think that it is particuarlly important that any student should be able to express their religion. No matter what it is its what that child feels.

12/8/2011
Montgomery, TX
Emilio
Metzger
Unless a student is actually affiliated with a gang and the rosary beads is the symbol of their allegiance, then that specific student should not be able to wear the rosary outside of their clothing and must be hidden. But according to the 1st amendment, every student has a right to freedom of speech and religion, therefore the banning children from expressing their religious beliefs would violate the amendment.

10/19/2011
sidney, MT
luis
mr. fauhlaber
I thinks schools should not take away are rights of expressing our selfs not every religious figure represents gangs i just believe school should not get involved in peoples lifes. we wear what ever makes us happy so let us be are selfs.

3/10/2011
Greencastle
taylor
Greencastle-Antrim HS
I believe that it is a violation of our First Amendment right to band rosaries or any form of religious beliefs. I understand that gang violence is an issue that is rapidly growing and needs to be dealt with accordingly, according to helpinggangyouth.com of the estimated 1 million gang members in America, 40 percent of them are under the age of 18. However, schools are taking it too far now if they believe that banning a symbol of purity is the right thing to do. If they are allowed to ban crosses, a religious symbol since the beginning of time, then it opens up the door to ban whatever they please. If the public and the courts just allows schools to continue to ban anything that they want o

11/29/2010

Erica
Mrs. Ubrun-Southridge Middle School, Fontana, California
Students shouldn't be allowed to wear religious symbols at school. A very important reason that students shouldn't be able to wear religious signs is that, it may cause fights or riots between students of different religions. When a students of one religion sees a classmate wearing a religious symbol of a different religion, they may not like it and decide to fight them or discriminate them for their religion, igniting a war between members of the different religions. They might constantly tease one student making that student very depressed and may lead them to hurt them self or even lead to suicide. Another significant reason for banning religious symbols at school is that, it may cause students to be afraid once they see that another student is wearing a religious symbol. The reason for this is that, many students try to wear or even wear witchcraft symbols, scaring most students. I mean a school's sole purpose is to provide a safe and educational learning environment for all students, allowing students to wear any religious signs would ruin this purpose. Just one religious symbol could strike fear and worry through most of the student body, and the fear would spread rapidly. This fear would cause students to not focus on schoolwork and cease to maintain good grades. A final crucial reason for students not being able to wear religious symbols is that, some religious symbols represent violent gangs or are connected to them. Allowing religious symbols into a school that are connected to gangs is very dangerous. It could cause a full blown out gang war in a school, the exact thing that all schools don't want at all. This would make the school home to fights, taunting, gangs, and maybe even a few deaths. This wouldn't allow not one student to be able to learn or feel safe at school. Allowing religious symbols at school is a risky and foolish decision. It would result in fights, religious discrimination, and an unsafe learning environment for students, undoubtedly any and all religious symbols should be banned at school.

11/29/2010

Layne
Southridge Middle School, CA
I think students should be able to wear religious symbols at school. The first reason is that the students have rights, not letting them wear their religious symbols is not giving them there rights. They should be able to wear whatever they want as long as it means no harm, or Nudity. Another reason students should be able to wear religious symbols is that If it doesn’t go against school conduct, why not wear it? Students should be able to wear religious symbols as long as it doesn’t go against school conduct or brake any rules. There is nothing wrong with wearing a star with a circle around it, its not breaking any rules, so why not? My last and final reason is that if students can wear crosses then why can’t students wear any other religious symbols? You see other students walking around with crosses on t-shirts and necklaces, but not any other religious symbol. Students have the right to wear any religious symbols they want as long as it doesn’t go against school policy—Who’s with me?

11/28/2010

Stacy
Southridge Middle, Fontana
All religious symbols should be able to be worn at school. My first reason is that its discrimination to the religions. The schools think that just because they worship other things its evil. They only allow the Christian cross to be worn at school. The decision of wearing the religious symbols is not up to the schools. It is not harming any students by wearing these symbols. The symbols are for expressing the students’ religions. There is no reason for the schools to ban the symbols if no harm comes to the students. Another reason is that nothing should get in the way of a students work. Nothing states that the religious symbols will get in the way of the students education. If the students are getting distracted it wouldn’t be from the symbols. Everyone came to America for religious freedom, and it is not right to take that away from people.

11/28/2010

Daniela
Southridge Middle, Fontana Ca
Students should be allowed to wear religious symbols during school. Perhaps an important reason is that they should have the right to wear any religious symbol they want. It may not be fair to them of how they treat other symbols, because schools allow the holy cross, but they don’t accept other religious symbols for example the pentacle. The pentacle is pretty much like the holy cross, but they have different meanings for the different religion. Symbols from other religions are a lot like the cross just that they look different and have a different meaning, but they both stand for their religion and belief! Another obvious reason why students should be allowed is because students are not here to please the school. All the student is doing is showing respect to their religion by wearing the symbol. They are not doing anything bad so why shouldn’t it be permitted? The school has no right to tell students what symbols to wear and what not to wear. The final reason why students should be allowed to wear symbols during school is because symbols do not harm or injure no one. The pentacle can scare other people for the fact that it is Wiccan and automatically they will think it’s a bad symbol but it is not. The pentacle doesn’t hurt anyone. It is just a symbol that people wear to show their religion and belief. In addition to other symbols, they also do not hurt anyone. They are just symbols not weapons. With no doubt, students should be allowed to wear religious symbols during school.

11/28/2010

Mark
Southridge Middle School, Fontana, Ca
Many different people around the world argue about how they should be able to wear symbols that represent their religions. I say that people should be able to wear what they want, but should be appropriate and non offensive. Some religions or belief’s symbols might offend or intimidate people, such as “Wicca” or being a “White Supremacists”. I think people should be able to wear symbols representing their religion or belief.

10/26/2010

amy
fairfield school, levin
at school we have this competition were can do speeches to change the rules and i choose to do it on clutural and relgious necklaces because i think that i should be able to wear a cross or a green stone to school but no one has even spoke up to our princple or anything so i really want to get the right to wear necklaces hopefully i win:)

10/21/2010

Jaime
Nimitz High, Irving, TX
I believe that schools don't have the right to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence. Not the fact that its protecting against gang violence, but the fact that some people must wear certain items. I support that gangs are a problem but this subject could be handle without taking items away from students that aren't in gangs. The first amendment fully protects this from happening.

10/21/2010

Jordan
Nimitz, Irving
Our nation is funded on the basis of religious freedoms, along with freedoms of speech and freedom from oppression. Not allowing students these three simple freedoms, goes against everything our country is founded upon. By not allowing student to support their religion in school by wearing crosses or rosary beads or anything of the like, ther school, even if it is unmeaningly, is saying that religion is wrong. They are singling out kids who are religious and telling them that they can be religious outside of school, but they are not allowed to show it inside of school because it could actually be something bad. Rather than single out Christian and Catholic kids, who tend to do what they are asked if they are true believers, the school should focus more on the actual gang activity. Not allowing gang members to wear a sign of their gang in school isn't gonna stop gang violence. Those kids are still gonna fight, kill, and steal all they want whenever they won't. The schools shouldn't be focusing so much on what a kid wears, but instead actually get down to the real matter of stopping gang violence. Keeping gagns from showing their sign is a school district having no strength, but trying to say their perfect. Now, actually standing up against gangs and attempting to eliminate them from a school, that takes guts. But if your school district doesn't have the guts for that, don't single out the good kids and take their rights.

10/20/2010

Kiev
Nimitz High School, Irving, Texas
If the schools are being allowed to ban religious symbols and suspend students who wear them to school then who knows what will be banned next. Sooner or later, students are going to be told that they cannot have pierced ears or any visible bracelets on. Giving the schools the right to invade into our religious lives by telling us we cannot wear crosses or rosaries is like giving Congress the right to pass a law that taxes us on wearing shoes on Sundays. It is just unreasonable and unnecessary. Students have the right to wear religious symbols, whether it be a cross or a necklace of Buddha. I can start up a gang right this second, declare my gang symbol was a golden necklace, and get all my friends to begin wearing golden necklaces. When word gets out that I had started the “Golden Necklace Gang,” then all the schools will begin banning golden necklaces. My point is, it's just ridiculous to know that a gang just decided to use a cross as one symbol of their pride and now students of harmless schools are being punished for it. Why are Muslims able to wear their Dishdasha during school hours to show faith in their religion, but Christians and Catholics are banned from wearing their crosses and rosaries? The schools might not want to admit it, but banning one religious symbol makes the schools look like they are singling out one particular religious faith. I understand that intentions are meant to protect students from gang violence, but there should be evidence that a student is affiliated with a gang before they are asked to take off their rosaries or crosses. Restricting what the student wears is just going to make the student angry and frustrated because it will seem very unfair to him/her. My school has done a great deal in order to limit gang violence. They have gone as far as to ban band-aids because some gang was using band-aids to show their status in the gang. Now doesn't this sound ridiculous? Yes, it sure does. I was even asked once to take off my band-aid on my arm because they believed it symbolized that I was in a gang. Once I removed it and showed them that indeed the band-aid was being used for the right purpose, I was able to wear it for the rest of the day. Of course, my school no longer enforces this rule because it was getting to the point where they were no longer able to control it since band-aids were commonly used everyday. The same should go with a necklace of a cross. Thousands of students at my school wear crosses to symbolize their religion, and thousands of students everyday are being asked to take the crosses off. My school is one of many that enforce such rules, and it upsets me every time I see a friend being asked to remove their cross necklace. Some teachers might not pay enough attention to what students are wearing to enforce the rule, but it is still a rule. And this rule is another rule that is made to be broken.

10/20/2010

Kyle T
Nimitz High School, Irving Tx
I dont believe that any religious symbol should be banned from a school. According to the first amendment, we have the freedom of religion, therfore, the freedom to expresss it how they choose. If a school proves that a gang is using a religious symbol as their universal sign, then the school shouldnt ban the symbol, they should ban the stundents in the gang. And just because a student happens to wear a particular symbol that is in some way associated to a gang, it doesnt mean that they are part of the gang. The students should be allowed to express their religion through any way, just like eveyone else in school. Its not the stundents fault that the gangs happen to use a religious symbol as their sign. It would be like a gang using long hair as a symbol, then the school bans long hair. Its rediculous, and the schools just need to crack down on whos in the gang and whos not.

10/19/2010

Monica A.
Nimitz High School, Irving, Tx
I beleive that before suspending or punishing a child for wearing a religious symbol the accusors need to know for sure if that student is involved in a gang. Students have rights just like the rest of the world and if they want to wear the symbol of their religion proudly so be it, but just because they are wearing one does not mean that they are gang members. Schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols from the children, only from the children involved in gangs. What fault do the proud religious students have if gang members want to use the same symbol? It is not right to ban a religious symbol from the students that don't deserve to be punished.

10/18/2010

Destani
Nimitz HS, TX
Schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols at school to protect against gang violence. I feel when one group of people are involved in illegal activity, it's inappropriate to punish their entire peer group as a whole. As American citizens, we are all entitled to freedom of religion, which must allow for the expression of that religion. We may say that religion has no part in the school system, but as it stands, even our Pledge of Allegiance says that we are “one nation, under God.” I feel that unless a student is suspected of gang participation, then it is wrong to ban them from expressing their religious beliefs. I wholly agree with Gostnell when she says that it's not right to force some students to hide their religious beliefs, while allowing others to express their own. There must be some boundaries about how far schools will go to prevent gang participation. These boundaries should never encompass trampling on the rights of fellow students. What if wearing belts was an active gang symbol? Would the whole student body no longer be able to wear belts? No, because hopefully, the school would make an effort to pinpoint these gang members and address them separately.

10/15/2010

Kayla
Sidney High School, Sidney, MT
I think schools should be allowed to ban religious symbols that deal with gang violence. Schools need to be able to protect the students and if that means banning religious symbols then do so. Schools are supposed to be a place of education if there is gang violence then their is a distraction prevent kids from learning. Therefore, schools should be aloud to ban religious symbols if dealing with gang violence.

10/15/2010

Scotty
Sidney High School, Sidney, MT
I think they should be able to, i mean everyone is all about PEACE so why not stop gang violence when you can by doing anything and everything. as much as possible

10/14/2010

Ashley
Trinity HS, Washington, PA
Schools should never be allowed to ban religious symbols. By doing so, it would be unconstitutional. The first amendment gives Americans freedom of religion. Just because a gang decides to take a religious symbol and make it their own, doesn't mean those who really do use those symbols to express their faith should be limited as well. Besides that, banning a religious symbol will not stop gang violence. Gangs will just use their symbols outside of school.

10/14/2010

Tim
Sidney High School, Sidney, MT
I think that schools should not be allowed to to ban religious symbols in their schools

10/14/2010

Tim
Sidney High School, Sidney, MT
I think schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols.The first amendment gives Americans the right to freedom of religion. Schools doing so is going against it completly. Students have the right and should still have the right to show their religious symbols on school grounds, whether or not it promotes school gang violence.

10/14/2010

Nathaniel
Sidney High School, MT
I think schools shouldn't be allowed to ban the symbols to protect against gang violence. I understand that the school is trying to keep gang violence out of school by getting rid of the symbol and not descriminating against a religion. They should allow the symbol, but try to have it be not too open, because the kids in the gang might take advantage of that. I don't think it would break the First Amendment because they aren't against the religion. They are just trying to keep the peace.

10/14/2010

Breanne B
Sidney High School, Sidney, Montana
I believe that schools should be able to ban any symbols that involve any gang voilence or religion. I believe that there is a place and time for everything. Our school is to education, and a church is to practice relign. Not at school, and to protect against gang voilence makes it even more important to insure the safety of kids and keep religion and voilence out of the school district system.

10/14/2010

Cody k
Sidney high School, Sidney Montana
I think schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols. Because wat do religious symbols have to do with gang violence. plus the first amendment gives people the right to freedom of religion.

10/14/2010

Dakota
Sidney High School, Sidney, MT
Yes a school should be allowed to ban religious symbols if it causes that much violence. If banning students the right to wear rosaries cuts violence and gang fights, it's a good thing. Wearing them under your clothing is a good compromise, too.

10/14/2010

Heaven
SHS, Sidney/MT
I don't think they should be allowed to ban religious symbols. Not because of the first amendment, but simply because they aren't directly harming anybody. If someone wears crappy clothes to school they could get teased for it and kill themselves after living for ten years with no friends--but that doesn't mean you're not allowed to wear crappy clothes. Forget about the religious aspect--you're basically saying we can't wear trinkets. Besides, if they gangs went so far as to loophole around the system with religion, they'll prob'ly just move onto the nest loophole--maybe one gang is all silver and another is all black, or something. Any effect this ban would have on school violence will be temporary.

10/14/2010

Heaven
SHS, Sidney/MT
I don't think they should be allowed to ban religious symbols. Not because of the first amendment, but simply because they aren't directly harming anybody. If someone wears crappy clothes to school they could get teased for it and kill themselves after living for ten years with no friends--but that doesn't mean you're not allowed to wear crappy clothes. Forget about the religious aspect--you're basically saying we can't wear trinkets. Besides, if they gangs went so far as to loophole around the system with religion, they'll prob'ly just move onto the nest loophole--maybe one gang is all silver and another is all black, or something. Any effect this ban would have on school violence will be temporary.

10/14/2010

Elizabeth
Sidney High School, Sidney MT
I think that schools do not have the right to ban religious symbols to protect against gang violence. I think that gang violence is going to go on even if they ban these symbols. Gangs are not fighting over symbols they are fighting over issues that they believe to be much more important such as power and territory. Also, I think that if somebody is deeply religious and wants to show that, then they should be able to wear what they want and show there love of christ. This is rediculous even to think about banning such items.

10/10/2010

Amberly M.
Northeast High School, Phila. PA
I think schools should not be allowed to ban religious symbols. It would violate students rights. Also, banning a religious symbol to protect against gang violence won't make a difference. Outside of school gang members will continue their violence. The students who want to wear the symbols to show their faith would be the only ones really being effected. Students have the right to wear whatever religious symbols they want. If schools want to protect against gang violence they should have metal detectors and educate students about the dangers of gang violence.

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